Advice for coastal roads in Wet Season, Katherine-Townsville

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Comrad
Here and there
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Joined: March 28th, 2014, 11:12 am
Location: Bunbury, WA

Advice for coastal roads in Wet Season, Katherine-Townsville

Unread post by Comrad » January 17th, 2017, 6:07 pm

Hello All,

This may be a bit of a stretch, but I'm wondering if anyone has ever towed a boat along the northern coast from Katherine to Townsville, and could provide any advice. I'm heading to Townsville for work at the end of the month, and I've opted to drive there (from south west WA) so I can bring my boat with me, rather than flying. I'm planning on heading along the coast, so I can fish as I go, I've done the north west before, and a bit of the NT, but I'm not so sure about after Katherine.

Does anyone have any advice on the best way to get from Katherine to Townsville? Google suggests a route which goes via Barkly highway and Flinders highway, heading a couple of hundred k's south down to Warumungu, then pretty much straight east heading through Mount Isa, etc... I had really preferred the option of sticking to the coast, and then if weather was good, and I came across a good spot, I could get out for a fish, but from what I can see, the coastal road heading through the gulf of Carpenteria is unsealed. I'm in a 75 series landcruiser ute, all loaded up with camping gear and whatnot (thirsty and slow at the best of times) towing a 5.5 metre, 1.5 tonne boat.

If I were just going in my ute, I'd feel ok to tackle some harder tracks, but I'm less enthusiastic about it when I'm pulling the boat. Given that I'll be heading up pretty much dead in the middle of the wet season, can anyone advise if there are any decent roads along the coast through that region? I'd appreciate any input anyone had.

hoyks
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Joined: April 13th, 2003, 9:19 pm
Location: Marburg, QLD

Re: Advice for coastal roads in Wet Season, Katherine-Townsv

Unread post by hoyks » January 17th, 2017, 6:37 pm

Considering I have a mate on his way to Darwin that has been in Mt Isa for 2 days waiting for the main road to Camooweal to re-open, so I think the boat will be more use to you than the Landcruiser on the Gulf road.

It is pretty flat out there, single lane of tar and the sides of the road have a tendency to turn to porridge. We haven't had a cyclone in the Gulf yet, so its a bit overdue.

Probably the most reliable route this time of year would be Townsville, Mt Isa, across to the NT and then North. Save the Gulf road for the winter when the weather is a bit more predictable.

This might be helpful https://www.racq.com.au/cars-and-drivin ... s#form-top

Comrad
Here and there
Posts: 24
Joined: March 28th, 2014, 11:12 am
Location: Bunbury, WA

Re: Advice for coastal roads in Wet Season, Katherine-Townsv

Unread post by Comrad » January 17th, 2017, 6:47 pm

Hoyks,

Thanks for the prompt reply, that was exactly the sort of information I was chasing. It's a shame to have things work out that way, but it is what it is.

The road that google suggests I take includes the road from Camooweal to Mt Isa. Is that just a fact of life, that I'll have to deal with potential flooding, or could I avoid that with another route?

hoyks
Avid Poster
Posts: 720
Joined: April 13th, 2003, 9:19 pm
Location: Marburg, QLD

Re: Advice for coastal roads in Wet Season, Katherine-Townsv

Unread post by hoyks » January 17th, 2017, 7:20 pm

When it is a bit damp, then these are about the only option.

I had a another mate that made it to Rockhampton, only to have to turn around and go via Broken Hill and up Pt Augusta and then up the middle due to heavy rain that was followed up by a cyclone. It certainly put a dent in his allowances.

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